Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Story Quilts You Haven't Seen and Other Things....

I showed this quilt that Carolyn from the DC area made for her dear Granddaughter who graduated from Jr.High and it showed all of the many things she is interested in such as skiing, lacrosse, good grades in hard subjects, skiing, her cat and shopping...note the outfit and the girl (her) in the quilt. Now wouldn't you love it if your Grandmother made you a quilt about you at that age? This is sure to be a wonderful treasure for this girl and imagine how her kids would feel about it and eventually her Grandkids etc.
Story quilts live on and on and on.
Here is another quilt email I received that I do not believe I ever shared with you and it has a wonderful story to go along with the quilt itself. Children say wonderful things and draw wonderful photos and then we miss it by forgetting their innocence and imagination.
Here is a lovely letter about this quilt.
Dear Mary Lou, This month I am so very thankful for the inspiration you have provided me through your lectures, books, and blogs. I first heard you lecture many years ago at Asilomar. Since then I have scoured all your books for ideas and I enjoy following your blogs. This year I finally got up the courage to make my own story quilt and I am just so darn proud of myself :)
I am attaching a couple of photos and I also uploaded a pic to Pinterest. If you do a search for your name, the quilt image will come up.
The quilt came about from a fun family evening sharing food and games with my children and grandchildren. During dinner, for some bizarre and forgotten reason, I made the statement that  the plural of cactus was cacti, plural of octopus was octopi, etc. After dinner we decided to play the game Pictionary where you have to draw a certain word and your teammates must guess the word.
My ten year old grandson, Lucas, took his turn. He began drawing bunnies. Then more bunnies. Then even more bunnies. After time ran out and no one had guessed the word Lucas yelled out "how could you not guess this-we just talked about it". I then asked to see his word and read "rabbi". Lucas thought the plural of rabbit was 'rabbi'. His mom and I thought this was hysterical, albeit a poor reflection on our serious lack of religious training in the family.
After finishing the quilt top I asked Holly Casey of King City, California, to do the machine quilting. Holly did an absolutely amazing job. Because I had mentioned that I had wished I had put more people into the quilt to reflect how much fun we were all having as a family, Holly quilted small people into the lower body of the quilt. Because I had mentioned that our family did puzzles together she quilted a jigsaw puzzle in several places in the border. What Holly didn't realize is that my daughter, Kimi, for whom the quilt was intended, is a behavioral therapist for children with autism. In addition, Kimi's youngest son is autistic. A puzzle piece is the symbol for autism. So the quilted puzzle pieces just added a whole other dimension to the quilt. I did make one request regarding the quilting-no penises. I didn't want to totally embarrass my grandson, Lucas.
I wish the photos could more accurately display the wonderful quilting by Holly as she is such a talented artist.
Thank you so much for your inspiration. My own story quilt has been such a joy to work on and to give as a gift to my daughter. I now have several more 'stories' in my head and look forward to putting them to fabric.
Bonnie K. Gorman
And as I go through more files I find more photos I think you would like to see of story quilts but I am missing the designers. If you recognize any of them please tell me so I can share the name of the artists. They are all fun and give you inspiration for your own story quilts.
This quilt is by Colleen and you can see her blog too...
Wanted to show this nice class of girls who did Flower Power blocks
Just another quilt to show you the size of my is hard for me to work small...I like the impact that large quilts have and I can always add more story too!
The quilt here is by Pat from John C.Campbell-she sat in on my story quilt class and this was the result- a darling quilt for her Grandson. I will be there in May next year just in time for the rhodies and azaleas....
Please check out this wonderful blog and look at the blocks (hoochy style) that are shown...this blog is fun and fun to look at.


  1. Great photos Mary Lou, I love the deciduous trees in the lowest quilt with the firetruck. They almost look like they were hoochy pieced.

    The fabric that grandma picked for her granddaughter's dress in the quilt is a great match for the actual quilt.

    So much inspiration, thanks.

  2. OMG, those quilts are fantastic! What an inspiration for me to get back to finishing mine. I love these quilts. I especially love Carolyn's because I was there at the start of it. Great job, great quilts.

  3. Those are wonderful story quilts and something the recipients will treasure forever.


  4. Thank you for showing the pic of my Let's Go Fly A Kite story quilt. That pic is "in progress" You can see the finished quilt on my blog:

  5. Those are gorgeous quilts! I featured you on my blog today btw! Have a happy Friday!

    Cheery wave from

  6. All of the quilts are awesome! Thank you for posting them, they are very inspirational :)